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Newt Gingrich Calls for Expanded Oil Production in Puget Sound Visit

The Republican presidential primary candidate — known for his rhetorical bombast — urged voters to support his conservative agenda at two Puget sound rallies in the run-up to the March 3 Republican local precinct caucuses.

The sudden surge in gas prices nationwide played right into Newt Gingrich’s stump speech during a rally Friday at the Historic Everett Theater in Everett.

The Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House has long called for unleashing of America’s full energy production potential of oil, saying the political left has been trying to drive up gasoline prices for 30 years by ignoring that potential.

“When I was Speaker of the House, gas was $1.13 a gallon. When President Obama (took office), it was $1.89,” he said. Several towns and cities in the Puget Sound have already seen gas prices rise this month past $4 a gallon again. “If you want gas at $2.50 a gallon, vote for me. If you want gas at $10 a gallon, vote for Obama.”

Gingrich’s comments were red meat to the enthusiastic crowd who filled the Everett theater. By taking full advantage of oil in the Arctic and Gulf of Mexico, he said the U.S. could be producing more than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined by the end of the decade.

Before Gingrich took to the podium, the crowd was led in prayer and the singing of the National Anthem by Tony Moore, president of the Federal Way School Board (Moore helped organize an earlier Gingrich rally Friday in Federal Way at the Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn & Suites). The crowd cheered loudly for Gingrich’s wife, Callista Gingrich, who spoke for a few minutes before her husband took the stage. She remained at his side for the entire one-hour speech.

The presidential primary candidate touched on familiar themes, including welfare reform, repealing the estate tax (or so-called “death” tax), balancing the budget (saying he’s the only Speaker of the House to preside over four consecutive balanced budgets “in our lifetime”) and creating a 15 percent tax rate. But that didn't stop him from taking a swipe at leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who acknowledged that he paid an effective federal tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 on $27 million in earnings, a rate much lower than most Americans.

“I’d like to have you have the same tax rate as Romney,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also said it's time to get tougher on terrorism.

“If you look at the average terrorist bomb plot, they do not come from the Kansas Kiwanis," he said. "We allow Muslim front groups to dictate to the U.S. government what appropriate behavior is. We hold meetings with the Organization of Islamic Countries, which is basically organized for the purpose of having a totally one-sided (perspective). And we assure them that we want to help them — I don’t want to help them.”

If the U.S. wants to help them, Gingrich added, “We have to start by asking them, how soon can we build a (Christian) church in Saudi Arabia?”

, the rally in Everett featured few disruptions. When one man in the theater’s balcony yelled that Gingrich was “part of the 1 percent,” — a reference to the “We are the 99 percent” slogan adopted by the Occupy movement — the crowd quickly drowned out the man with chants of “Newt, Newt, Newt,” and another audience member near the stage stood up and yelled at the protestor to come down to the lower level and repeat what he said.

Gingrich recognized the man’s rights to his opinions, but fired off: “It’s better that some people should ventilate rather than explode.”

On the subject of the current occupant of the White House, criticism of President Obama is standard fare in all the Republican Party candidates' talking points — but Gingrich wasn’t as harsh in Everett as in previous speeches across the country. One of the biggest cheers of the evening, however, came with this: “I believe the economy will turn around late election night when people know Obama is no longer in office.” He also added a zinger about the country “becoming a secular dictatorship under President Obama.”

The recent influx of Republican presidential candidates to Washington — , Mitt Romney is scheduled next week — comes in preparation for the state’s Republican caucus on March 3.  

Gingrich reminded those voting in the caucuses to keep a few things in mind.

“I want this campaign to offer every American the chance to pursue happiness by having a job. I believe America only works when Americans are working. I believe that means we go back to when it worked for Reagan, when we created 16 million jobs, and when it worked for Clinton and me when we created 11 million jobs in four years. Pretty simple. Lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy and respect for and enthusiasm for people who create jobs.”

Joe Marc February 25, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Newt, You have great ideas but, hard to follow during your speeches. Put your contract in writing, make it your back drop stand IN-FRONT of it.
Bob Martinek February 25, 2012 at 03:25 PM
A pompous ass grabbing at any issue he thinks will get him elected. The world oil market and speculation are what control oil prices. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush nor Obama could do a darn thing about oil. But Newt can? Give me a break. Gas has kept up with inflation. When one bought a car in 1965 one would pay around $3,000.00. That same car today would cost $30,000. Gallon of gas then? $00.30 now $03.50.
Kendall Watson February 25, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I know it's sometimes difficult to do, but next time please refrain from incendiary comments on Patch, which is typically not allowed here. The Terms of Use are at the bottom of the page describing the types of comments encouraged here. "Pompous ass" walks awfully close to that line. Thanks Bob.
phil February 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM
There will always be those who prefer high gas prices...makes mass transit look more appealing. Higher prices mean less cars on the road...not bad...BUT, a buck eighty-five, or two-fifty, even, would definitely mean more trips to California to visit relatives. At least Newt isn't going into the algae business. At somewhere around $170,00.00 an hour for AF1 our vast supply of algae would be used up on O's many vacations...and date nights. Personally I loved the sight of the oil wells off the coast of Santa Barbara when I lived there...and gas was what, 75 cents a gallon..? Newt, Rick, Ron, or Mitt...all are fine with me...!
George Kafantaris February 25, 2012 at 11:56 PM
* * * * * * Bluffing did not go well for Saddam, and it might not go well for Ahmadinejad. But since the price tag for ridding Saddam proved high, maybe we ought to reflect what we are asking of Iran now. On the eve of a threatened attack, we are asking it to take us to the depths of its arsenal and show us all it's got. Such great expectations are a sign we have been talking to our friends too long and are in need of a broader perspective. Exactly when was the last time we asked Pakistan, India, China or Russia to show us their arsenal? “But those countries are not advocating the destruction of Israel.” True, but Israel is not a thorn on their side either. Surely, however, we can see beyond the hyperboles and figure out their underlying purpose. Or have we forgotten that not all Iranians are thrilled with Ahmadinejad? He sure hasn’t. Nor has he forgotten that that his countrymen hate Israel even more. So he tells them that Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. Expectantly, this nonsense unites them against a common enemy. It even becomes a diversion from the misery and isolation brought on by his monolithic theocratic regime. Quite clever work by Ahmadinejad -- and not a rial spent or a bullet fired. So why are we letting the crazy talk about destroying Israel get us all worked-up -- to the point of turning the world topsy-turvy again. Can we not see the plain machinations of an anachronistic regime simply trying to hold on?
John Sheridan February 26, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Phil, John fS. from Issaquah here. Just wanted to let you know I agree with your comments, and any of the GOP candidates are a wiser choice over Obama, who is in over his head. Though I believe in oil safe guards, for pipes. residents in the Pacific NW deserve better prices, especially with our proximity to Alaska, and unpredictable behavior of dictators in the middle east. So many politicians and environmental groups want us out of our cars and into busses. Problem is the city busses are full of drunks, people who don't shower, and the drivers seem to ignore obnoxious behavior onboard. However, bus rides from the suburbs are more safe. And the irony is I don't see Seattle politicians riding the busses, but I do know we foot the $ bill for their private limo drivers!
dexterjibs February 26, 2012 at 02:12 AM
There is something to be said about "supply and demand". Obama has caved into the pressure applied by environmental extremists. EnvironMENTALists want to shut down the coal industry, breach hydroelectric dams, shut down oil drilling, stop timber cutting and prevent any new nuclear plants from being built. All this added together will drive up the price of energy sources. However, if you let these industries flourish, they will be abundant and prices will naturally go down due to competition and supply. All the while, these environMENTALists always talk about that magical, non-existent alternative energy supply. Very pathological.
Larry Lewis February 26, 2012 at 07:32 AM
According to a 1994 study, if all oil subsidies (federal, state, and local) were transferred into the direct at-the-pump price of gas- what the economists call "internalizing" the cost- it would run at least $9.50 per gallon. Driving yourself is actually the least efficient and cost-effective transportation option. "Supply and demand" has nothing to do with it because oil isn't local. In the past ten years the oil corporations have set several annual profit records, all while collecting our tax dollars, and last year, for the first time in ages, our biggest export was GASOLINE. The I-don't-care-about-anything-but-money crowd yells 'Drill, baby, drill!' never even knowing the oil companies just sell it all on the global market anyway, and it will do exactly nothing to lower prices HERE. A useful definition of 'environmentalist' is someone who loves his children. But hey, if you don't I guess it frees you up from having to care about the world they'll grow up in.
Kathleen February 26, 2012 at 07:36 AM
I am not a democrat nor did I vote for Obama but if anyone thinks any of the current GOP candidates are qualified to lead our countrry I have a bridge to sell them. Gingrich stated "worked for Clinton and me"?...too funny considering Gingrich wanted to impeach Clinton
Dan February 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Kendall, Please look closely at the photo of the campaign buttons. Pay particular attention to the one with Obama.
Kendall Watson February 26, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Hi Dan, thanks for the comment. While we encourage civil behavior in the comments section, we don't have much control over what happens in the real world. Say someone (goodness forbid) was murdered on Mercer Island. We would cover that story to the best of our ability — including photos of the murder scene if possible. But we won't tolerate a post saying "I will kill you". Politics is often a dirty, slimy business, as you point out. We'll cover the good and the bad and bear witness — as our journalistic duty requires. Thanks again for the comment.
BonnieE February 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Newt Gingrich will apparently do or say anything if he thinks it will help him get votes. It's hard not to see him as cynical and calculating. When he first came on the scene, in the late seventies, he went out of his way to emphasize that he was a "progressive" Republican and that he was influenced by Rockefeller type policies. He's switched wives three times. But he's also switched his "religion" three times. It's unclear what the motivation was beyond just satisfying some self-indulgent tendency. Whether you're conservative, liberal, radical, extremist anti-social libertarian or anything else, we all have to breathe the same air, share the same land, drink the same water. If we were to follow Gingrich's aggressive and hostile anti-environmental policies, all of us would be endangered. Do you know that Gingrich wants to abolish the EPA? Do you know he wants to get rid of, or neuter the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and many more laws that protect our health and safety? And now, Gingrich demagogically stirs up his audience with specious calls for more drilling and burning of fossil fuels, with absolutely no regard for how it will only dig us in a deeper hole as we all wonder why there is a continuing increase in cancer and diseases of the heart, lungs and other vital organs. Gingrich wants your vote. And he seems without shame or decency in his desperation to get it.
dexterjibs February 27, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Kathleen, do you believe Obama was qualified to be President when he ran in 2008? If you do, I have a bridge made out of gold to sell you.
dexterjibs February 27, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Like many politicans running for office.
dexterjibs February 27, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Larry, so I guess you believe that people that don't identify themselves as environmentalists don't love their kids? I consider myself a conservationist. The difference between a conservationist and an environmentalist is the conservationist is reasonable and open minded and has a brain. It is simple economics, when you have more of something, prices go down. Restricting things cause prices to go up. And Obama knows this and he is more than willing for us to pay 5 to 8 dollars for a gallon of gasoline-he has said it himself. He has said he wants to shut down the coal industry which will drive up electricity rates.
Tony Dondero February 27, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Then again if there's less pollution and driving, less health problems and other mayhem.
dexterjibs February 27, 2012 at 05:44 AM
I think getting rid of the EPA and Endangered Species Act is a good first step. Follow that up with getting rid of the Dept of Education, Dept of Agriculture and Dept of Energy. Then, git rid of all of Obama;s czars and their staff and all the new lawyers that Obama has hired to work in the federal government. These moves would save tons of money over the years.
Kim Kendall February 27, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Ever read U dub professor Ward's research on prior extinctions (Under a Green Sky), or NASA's stuff on our current atmospheric state of affairs. Ever wonder how scientists make their living? They get paid to think (using scientific research methods to avoid being wrong). My son, now 17, will be 43 when the human die off is predicted to begin in earnest due to warming and loss of essential natural resources. He might have a child or two of his own then too. Warming the earth by 4-6 degrees, the trajectory we are now easily on track to reach within this century based on current science; this is the end game. The game ends sooner the more we use fossil fuels, period. It won't matter where the fuel comes from or what the price per gallon is. It won't matter whether we supplement fossil fuels with renewables or with nuclear power. It won't matter if half the earth's population dies off, or if women loose their civil rights, abortions are allowed or prevented, you are a Christian or a Muslim. It will happen regardless of who is president, as long as our addiction to fossil fuel is well and alive. Soon enough we will be an endangered species. It's gonna be a rocky ride, especially if we all go back to the bar for a drink laughing about how stupid science is. Like deer, we are caught in these headlights. But unlike deer, we will get what we deserve for not having had the courage to admit the science may be right nor having built some lifeboats.
Tony Dondero February 27, 2012 at 08:18 AM
Dexter, was Rick Perry your candidate? Are you filling in the blanks for him after the fact? Where were you two months ago?
Tonto February 28, 2012 at 12:25 AM
consider this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhKuunp8D8 food for thought :)
Edwin February 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yes politics are slimey. Just look at the local elections of last fall in Woodinville. However, regardless what one thinks of any of the Presidential candidates they deserve respect for running. Further, this is a neighborhood and community blog and we all owe it to each other to comment respectively and treat each other as neighbors. So please keep the trash talk out of here. Lastly while I do not think Newt the best choice for 2012, I would choose him and in fact any of the current Republicans over Obama for numerous reasons. My first choice would have been Huntsman, now it is between Paul and Romney. My only concern about Paul is his isolationist foreign policy.
Larry Lewis February 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Actions vs words. Caring about the world our descendents grow up in is the bare minimum. Doing something to save what we have left is the next step. The real value is in actively reversing the evils already committed. Supply and demand works great in a textbook, and there are plenty of examples out there, but speculators now control over 70% of the oil market and their artificial inflation/obscene profits account for over 70 cents a gallon at the pump. Government agencies? Sure, get rid of 'em all and we'll save piles of money in the immediate term and get not one good thing done. Keep in mind the Federal government is significantly smaller now than it was under Reagan.
Larry Lewis February 28, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Exactly. That's Peter D Ward. Look him up- a specialist in mass extinctions. All his dozen books are outstanding and scientifically bracing (and chilling). "Under A Green Sky" is the book in question.
Tonto February 29, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Yea, it takes alot of brains. The Earth's climate IS changing. Just like it has for a billion or more years. Changes every day all day long month after month year after year century after century 24/7. You can bet it will change in the next hour too :) Completely covered with ice to hot steaming jungles. All before man even lit a campfire or smoked a cigarette.

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